Virtual Reality (VR) is a groundbreaking technical phenomenon which has fairly recently entered the gaming industry and expanded to become a market worth over 40 million pounds, with viable indications that this will increase to the billions by 2022. VR however, is not just found in gaming, but also in the realm of education, fast-becoming the software and hardware that many forward-thinking trainers are keen to get their hands on.
Because VR undoubtedly provides an exciting and versatile learning experience across a range of sectors, the question is not whether it has a place in eLearning, but how exactly it will shape eLearning’s future.
Since VR and learning are not mutually exclusive, and the immersive, yet user-empowering essence of VR automatically encourages exploration and learning by design, consider the ways in which it could be used to equip your organisation with 21st century skills.
- Immersive and hands-on training
VR lends itself perfectly to training which requires total immersion. When Massive Online Open Courses (or MOOCs) were first created, they intended to provide a ‘nodal’ learning environment, whereby students would effectively take learning into their own hands. Rather than implementing a top-down model of instructor-led courses or lectures, digital learning relies on open and explorable streams of knowledge via networks and devices which make accessing it effortless. VR offers countless opportunities for hands-on learning, simulations of scenario-based tasks and trial-runs.
- New starters
Specifically, VR fits into the learning landscape with regards to training new recruits. Equipping new employees with practical, engaging experience through VR starts their company journey in the best possible way and inevitably instils them with confidence in the professionalism of the organisation they’re joining. It also allows them to quickly become comfortable with company procedures and ease their transition overall.
VR could even be used to relay product demos and assess tasks during the interview process, presenting the business as tech-savvy and appealing to fresh-faced applicants looking for an opportunity to shine in an innovative environment.
- Interactive walkthrough
‘Over-the-shoulder’ walkthroughs can be a great activity to enhance student learning, providing them with an interactive aspect within a new environment. Not only do these walkthroughs show the learner a new place or process, they also allow them to carry out the process themselves or change the course of events through nurturing interaction.
Such simulations can also be provided to clients and used as a tool to win additional new business.
Already enabling kinesthetic learners to thrive, the future of VR in eLearning will continue to unravel and will most certainly play a pivotal role in learning in all sectors. Its continuous growth raises the questions of whether VR will need writers, as well as its household accessibility, in future. After all, its price and size of headsets may need to be further considered for it to be adopted into the realm of everyday digital experience. Nonetheless, VR paves the way for up and coming technologies to enter the education and training sphere and offer countless new possibilities for advanced learning.